Blog > 200+ Photography Quotes for Photographers: Inspiration to Elevate Your Craft

200+ Photography Quotes for Photographers: Inspiration to Elevate Your Craft

200+ photography quotes for photographers

Artists are not perfect. Sometimes they need a little inspiration or a word of encouragement when they are not feeling motivated.

If you’re a photographer experiencing a creative block, you can read inspirational quotes from different photography experts in the field. These photography quotes can give you the motivation you need to pick up your camera and start capturing moments once again and be more creative.

We have collected these 200+ quotes that are written/said by famous photographers to improve and inspire your photography skills.

Ansel Adams quotes

– “A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.”

– “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

– “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

Ansel Adams Quote

– “Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.”

– “Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.”

Man holding a Camera

-“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!”

-“It is my intention to present – through the medium of photography, intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to the spectators.”

-“In my mind, I visualize how a particular… sight will appear on a print. If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph. It is an intuitive sense, an ability that comes from a lot of practice.”

-When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson quotes

-“For me, the camera is a sketchbook, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”

-“Actually, I’m not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the photo is in the box, I’m not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks.”

-“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.”

-“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.”

-“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.”

-“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

-It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart, and head.”

-“The picture is good or not from the moment it was caught in the camera.”

Curly Woman Close Up Photo

-“In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv.”

Paul Strande quotes

-The important thing is, you have to have something important to say about the world.”

-“Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.”

-“It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.”

-“I go and get the camera and do it. Photography is a medium in which if you don’t do it then, very often you don’t do it at all, because it doesn’t happen twice.”

Mark Denman quotes

-“It’s not enough to just own a camera. Everyone owns a camera. To be a photographer, you must understand, appreciate, and harness the power you hold!”

-“God creates the beauty. My camera and I are a witness.”

-“The photographer does the world a great disservice when he leaves his camera at home.”

-“When the world asks, “what was it like?” Only the photographers can say, “See!”

-“Photographers don’t take pictures. They create images.”- Mark Denman

-“You don’t take pictures; the good ones happen to you.”— Ernst Haas

– “The eye should learn to listen before it looks.”- Robert Frank

three smiling children

-“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”- Ralph Hattersley

-“That frame of mind that you need to make fine pictures of a very wonderful subject; you cannot do it by not being lost yourself.”- Dorothea Lange

-“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”— Diane Arbus

-“The context in which a photograph is seen affects the meaning the viewer draws from it.”- Stephen Shore

-“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.”– Robert Frank

Woman in black dress

-“I like to photograph anyone before they know what their best angles are.”— Ellen von Unwerth

-“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” – Dorothea Lange

a quote from Anon

-“Only photograph what you love.”– Tim Walker

-“When I take a black-and-white portrait, it’s not particularly meant to please you. It’s meant to talk to you; it’s meant to shame you. It’s meant to scream out at you, and it has a message.”— Don McCullin

-The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”– Ernst Hass

-“When I photograph, what I’m really doing is seeking answers to things.”– Wynn Bullock

-“Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.”— Duane Michals

-“I’m very particular who I work with. I’m not interested in portraying women with a cliched, generic look. I’m interested in a model who I can take a portrait of.”— Tim Walker

-“Once photography enters your bloodstream, it is like a disease.”– Anon

-“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.”— Sally Mann

-“Your aim as a photographer is to get a picture of that person that means something. Portraits aren’t fantasies; they need to tell a truth.”— Tim Walker

-“A woman said to me when she first sat down, You’re photographing the wrong side of my face. I said, Oh, is there one?”— Imogen Cunningham

-“Photographs are just light and time.”- Aza Holmes

-“Photography is the recording of strangeness and beauty with beguiling precision.”– Sebastian Smee

-“The way that light hits objects, I think, is one of the more important things that sculpture and photography share.”- Rashid Johnson

-“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”– Dorothea Lange

-“To some extent, the cult surrounding black-and-white photography is based on nostalgia.” – René Burri

-“Only photography has been able to divide human life into a series of moments, each of them has the value of a complete existence.”- Eadweard Muybridge

-“What do we feel when we look at a good photograph? We just want to be there, right at the exact moment that photo taken!”- Mehmet Murat Ildan

-“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”- Alfred Eisenstaedt

a quote from Matt Hardy

-A photographer without a magazine behind him is like a farmer without fields.”— Norman Parkinson

-“I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.”– Diane Arbus

Eliot Erwitt Quote

– “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.”– Susan Sontag

– “I like to photograph others before they know what their best angles are.”– Ellen Von Unwerth

– “The camera is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.”– Orson Welles

– Photography has been my way of bearing witness to the joy I find in seeing the extraordinary in ordinary.”-Harold Feinstein

– “Photography, to me, is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true.”- Jacques-Henri Lartigue

– “The biggest cliche in photography is sunrise and sunset.”- Catherine Opie

– “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”- Aaron Siskind

– “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”- Dorothea Lange

– “When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear”.- Alfred Eisenstaedt

– “When a moment in front of me appears to be particularly special, whether it be by beauty or experience, I capture it. I usually find a reason to justify taking that photo – symmetry, or color or contrast – and it’s my hope that my photography sheds light onto what I see and do on a daily basis.”- Connor Franta

Holding Minolta Lens

– “The art of photography is all about directing the attention of the viewer.”- Steven Pinker

-“My interest in photography is not to capture an image I see or even have in my mind, but to explore the potential of moments I can only begin to imagine.”- Lois Greenfield

-“In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”- Alfred Stieglitz

-“Every viewer is going to get a different thing. That’s the thing about painting, photography, cinema.”- David Lynch

-“It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography, everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary.”- David Bailey

-“The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation.”– Susan Meiselas

-“Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure.”– Tony Benn

-“In the world of photography, you get to share a captured moment with other people.”- James Wilson

-“Black and white is abstract; color is not. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world.”– Joel Sternfeld

Black and White Street Photography

-“I think that’s the strength of photography – to decide the decisive moment, to click in the moment to come up with a picture that never comes back again.”- Rene Burri

-“Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work.”- Martin Parr

-“Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.”- Edward Steichen

-“One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.”– Lisa Kristine

-“My camera is my passport.”– Steve McCurry

-“Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.”- Arnold Newman

-“In photography, there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.”– August Sander

-“Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.”- Garry Winogrand

-“The way that light hits objects in life, three-dimensional objects before you photograph them is really the story of photography.”- Rashid Johnson

-“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.”— Elliott Erwitt

-“For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture.” -Diane Arbus

-“Technology has eliminated the basement darkroom and the whole notion of photography as an intense labor of love for obsessives and replaced them with a sense of immediacy and instant gratification.”- Joe McNally

-“The whole nature of photography has changed with the advent of a camera in everybody’s hand.”- Sally Mann

-“The advent of the digital age and the immediacy and convenience of digital video and photography allows people to become an integral part of the feedback loop, which actively shapes the content we are fed.”-Damian Loeb

-“In terms of digital photography, I continue to print and use film for the most part. I still shoot with film, 21/4 film specifically, and I love it. I love it because I know what it does, how it really responds to light.”- Carrie Mae Weems

-“The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.”— Ernst Haas

-”The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”— Andy Warhol

-“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”- Ted Grant

-“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”- Dorothea Lange

-“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”- Eudora Welty

-“Essentially what photography is life lit up.”— Sam Abell

-“A photograph is a moral decision taken in one-eighth of a second.”- Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet

-“The camera has always been a guide, and it’s allowed me to see things and focus on things that may be an average person wouldn’t even notice.”- Don Chadwick

-“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.”— Gilles Peress

-“What can be proved by a photograph can never be by a word.”- T.A

-“Photography is an itch that won’t go away. No matter how much you scratch it.”- Dara McGrath

-“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.”- Walker Evans

-“The cliche comes not in what you shoot but in how you shoot it.”- David duChemin, Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision

-“Regarding the creative: never assume you’re the master, only the student. Your audience will determine if you’re masterful.”- Don Roff

Newly Wed Photo

-“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”- George Eastman

-“My love of photography is melded with the ability to capture what I want to remember in the moment I want to never forget.”- Devin Dygert

-“The camera sees more than the eye, so why not make use of it?”– Edward Weston

– “Life is like Photography. You need the negatives to develop”- Ziad K. Abdelnour

-“It’s amazing how photography can capture just a split second of something exquisite.”- Kiera Cass, The Prince

-“The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding, but you forget, you are just looking so much.”- Annie Leibovitz

-“No matter how sophisticated the camera, the photographer is still the one that makes it.”- Doug Bartlow

-“Photography is a means by which we learn to see the ordinary”– David Bailey

-“If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough.”— Robert Capa

-”If you wait, people will forget your camera, and the soul will drift up into view.” – Steve McCurry

-“To me, photography must suggest, not insist or explain.” – Brassai

-“In my view, you cannot claim to have seen something until you have photographed it.”- Émile Zola

-“My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse, and entertain.”- Helmut Newton

-“My pictures are about making people realize we’ve got to protect those who can’t speak for themselves.”- Michael “Nick” Nichols

-“Taking a picture is like giving a piece of your soul away. You allow other people to see the world through your eyes.”- Katja Michael

“I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through the image, I live with them.”– Bruce Gilden

-“Don’t shoot what it looks like, shoot what it feels like”. -David Alan Harvey

-“With photography, a new language has been created. Now, for the first time, it is possible to express reality by reality. We can look at an impression as long as we wish, we can delve into it and, so to speak, renew past experiences at will.”– Ernst Haas

-“Photography has no rules, it is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it is achieved.”– Bill Brandt

-“The golden rule in the arts, as far as I am concerned, is that all rules are meant to be broken.”-Michael Kenna

-“When I make a photograph, I feel that I hold a piece of the universe in my hands.”- Paul Chaplo

-“When a photo of a person looks deep into your spirit and tells you a thousand stories….. Stories from your past even before you existed, then the photo is way above any description.”- Sameh Elsayed

Lisa Kristene Quotes

-“Photography is the story I fail to put into words.”- Destin Sparks

-“There is the satisfaction of being able to look at the image without flinching. There is the pleasure of flinching.”- Sontag, Susan

-“If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no shortcuts in photography.” – Edward Weston

-“After following the crowd for a while, I’d then go 180 degrees in the exact opposite direction. It always worked for me.”– Elliott Erwitt

-“My best photo will be the last one that I want to be taken.”- Biju Karakkonam

-“The pictures are there, and you just take them.”— Robert Capa

-“Do not take pictures to please the public; the photo should be spontaneous and free.”- Betty Poluk

-“Some days, you just get lucky… Other days you wait patiently for luck to happen.”- Destin Sparks

-“My photography is the result of being there at the right moment.”— René Burri

-“I take the same picture twice. First, with my heart, then camera.”- Biju Karakkonam

-“If you don’t think photos are important, wait until they’re all you have left.”— Missy Mwac

-“Kodak sells film, but they don’t advertise film; they advertise memories.”– Theodore Levitt

-“Whosoever possesses a camera should never know boredom.”- Wayne Gerard Trotman

-“We see in colour all the time. Black and white is therefore immediately an interpretation of the world, rather than a copy.”– Michael Kenna

-“The formula for doing a good job in photography is to think like a poet.”-Imogen Cunningham

-“The camera is a mirror with a memory, but it cannot think.”— Arnold Newman

-“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment’s that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”— Karl Iagerfeld

-“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.”— Unknown

-“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”— Imogen Cunningham

-“I began to realize that the camera sees the world differently than the human eye and that sometimes those differences can make a photograph more powerful than what you actually observed.”- Galen Rowell

-“The two most engaging powers of a photograph are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.”- William Thackeray

Oldman with Bread

-“When you photograph a face…you photograph the soul behind it.”- Jean-Luc Godard

-“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.”- Lewis Hine

-“The picture that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.”— Scott Lorenzo

-“A photograph is like a recipe – the memory is the finished dish.”– Carrie Latet

-“When I photograph I make love.”– Alfred Stieglitz

-“I like capturing stuff that is disappearing that’s the point of photography. What I am photographing is an imaginary place that never existed, but is connected to something that has already been.”— Tim Walker

-“If we want our pictures + stories to really mean something, to serve a real purpose, then we have to give them better attention, more often.”— Marie Masse

-“There is one thing the photo must contain – the humanity of the moment.”– Robert Frank

-“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”— Unknown

-“If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.”– Jay Maisel

-“Photography is the art of making memories tangible.”– Destin Sparks

-“Skill in photography is acquired by practice, and not by purchase.”-Percy W. Harris

-“You photograph with all your ideology.”– Sebastiao Salgado

-Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.”– Duane Michals

-“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”- Elliott Erwitt

a quote from Don McCullin

-“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”– Edward Steichen

-“Your inspiration is better if it comes from many different sources and your sensibilities will transform all those influences and inspiration into your own visual world. It’s like reading the book instead of watching the movie.”– Peter Lindbergh

-“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.”– Paul Caponigro

-Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.”– Diane Arbus

-In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”— Alfred Stieglitz

a quote from Robert Frank

-“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”— Don McCullin

-“A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”– Annie Leibovitz

-What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are time and light.”— John Berger

-“The photo that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.”– Scott Lorenzo

-“If the photographer is interested in the people in front of his lens, and if he is compassionate, it’s already a lot. The instrument is not the camera but the photographer.”– Eve Arnold

-“Photographers stop photographing subjects too soon before they have exhausted the possibilities.” – Dorothea Lange

-“Contrast is what makes photography interesting.”– Conrad Hall

-“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”– Marc Riboud

-“Once you learn to care, you can record images with your mind or on film. There is no difference between the two.”– Anon

-“My own eyes are no more than scouts on a preliminary search, or the camera’s eye may entirely change my idea.”– Edward Weston

-“Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.”– Jean-Luc Godard

-“I have always been fascinated by the poetic condition of twilight. By its transformative quality. Its power of turning the ordinary into something magical and otherworldly. “– Gregory Crewdson

-“The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.”– Annie Leibovitz

-“If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment.”– Linda McCartney

-“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”– Diane Arbus

-“Always shoot from the shadow side.”– Ted Grant

-“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”– Karl Lagerfeld

-“Every artist has a central story to tell, and the difficulty, the impossible task, is trying to present that story in pictures”– Gregory Crewdson

-“It’s a world, someone’s face. When I capture it, I see the future of the world.”– Malick Sidibé

-“I’m trying to capture something more fragile than a regular story. I love what people bring me.”- Agnes Varda

-“For me, every photograph is a portrait; the clothes are just a vehicle for what I want to say.”– Peter Lindbergh

-“The world makes up my pictures, not me.”– Lee Friedlander

-“The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.”- Susan Sontag

Paul Strand Quites

Frequently asked questions

What is the beauty of photography?

While what is beautiful is subjective, what makes a photograph beautiful is its ability to evoke a certain emotion in the viewer with the elements present in the photo.

It could be a certain moment, expression, framing, color, or even composition that makes a photographer truly beautiful.

What is the best photography quote for Instagram?

The best photography quote for an Instagram photo depends on the element and relevancy of the photo.

It could be any quote present in this blog, but it has to match what the photo is about. Also, make sure to credit the author of that quote.


Photography quotes are a powerful source of inspiration for photographers looking to elevate their craft.

By incorporating these quotes into your photography, you can gain new perspectives, push the boundaries of your creativity, and improve your photography skills.

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